LEED AP BD&C
The Beck Group
Honest sustainability infuses responsibility into every aspect of our lives at work, at
home, and at play
will Save you Green
Today we are going to focus on what you can do at home and how you can assist
your company to be more eco-friendly and energy efficient everyday. If your
company already has a green program you can get involved and assist them in
improving it, if you don’t have a program in place, be the change-agent that
promotes green awareness and start a grass roots effort.
I am going to start by sharing with you how my company made changes to be more
green. Saving money was the primary motivation from leadership, so all of the
strategies we put in place not only benefited the environment but saved money at
the same time. These are all things you can put in place either at home, at work, or
both. I will also share some tangible things that you can do to start making a
difference and save money at the same time.
What Makes the Climate Change?
Land use changes
In the past few years, scientific research is confirming that the current warming of
the Earth’s climate is very likely due to human activities, one of them is burning
fossil fuels. This creates greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide
CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide N2O
Disturbance of the land also causes climate change: deforestation, sprawl, miles
and miles of heat trapping highways, and changes in agriculture are changing the
global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas, and
changing the energy balance on the earth’s surface, like rainfall patterns
North Texas Population Growth
+ 4 million
9.1 million by 2030
Our population is continuing to grow. As of June 13, 2010 the world’s population is
estimated to be 6.8 billion people. It is expected that between 2040 and 2050, the
world’s population will be 9 billion.
In the 10 counties in the Dallas-Ft Worth region alone it expected to grown in
population by 4 million by 2030.
This will bring increased usage of resources, carbon dioxide and pollution and
should give us great concern as to whether we will have enough clean water, clean
air, and resources to support it.
We are continuing to use the Earth’s resources faster than it can regenerate. And
as the world’s population grows, we will increase consumption.
We have to do something so that our future generations live in a world that is worth
The Beck Group
The way we design buildings and how we construct buildings has a huge impact on
our environment. We started to be conscious about those things in terms of
projects years ago and make some modifications, but we felt that we could improve
the way we operate on a daily basis in the office, so we created a Work-Life
committee to establish sustainability goals to further reduce our environmental
impact of the daily activities in the office. The committee looked at operational
procedures, policies, and activities, focusing on three major areas for improvement:
Areas for Improvement:
1.Conservation of Office
2. Energy Use
3. Beck’s Carbon Footprint
Conservation of office consumables, Energy use, and Beck’s carbon footprint
buy less and use less
use products and materials over and over again
make products into new materials
These are the three tenets of sustainable living and working.
Conservation of office consumables starts with the 3Rs waste hierarchy.
40,000 water bottles/yr
Filtered water at every sink
Reduced building waste
$17,000 cost savings/yr
We eliminated Beck water bottles, waste with our name on it. Many times they did
not get recycled, and they are petroleum-based and don’t break down easily in
We replaced them with reusable drink ware that have a long lifecycle and low
We also eliminated Styrofoam cups, Styrofoam can take thousands of years to
2 million sheets letter sized paper/yr
500,000 tabloid-sized paper/yr
= 322 trees & $61,000/yr
Double-sided printing defaults
Paper supply to FSC or recycled
These paper facts don’t even account for other offices, job site offices or plotting
services we use on a daily basis.
With these initiatives, we reduced paper usage, paper costs, raw material use,
paper waste, impact on forest resources which amounted to a cost savings per year
FSC = Forest Stewardship Council, harvesting and production of the
forests/manufacturing process responsibly managed
We only print when necessary, storing documents electronically rather than paper
files, previewing before printing eliminating mistakes and the need to reprint, and
printing double sided
Greener cleaning practices
Recycling in every room, at
Traditional cleaning products contain chemicals that harm the environment and
create an unhealthy indoor air quality that could be damaging to building occupants.
Toxic chemicals in cleaning products have been linked to health problems such as
asthma, allergies, breast cancer, reproductive problems, and learning and
behavioral problems in children. Source: The Chemical Sensitivity Foundation.
Our building maintenance/cleaning service offers recycling for no additional cost. No
sorting is required.
600 Beck employees =
4 M pounds of CO2
240,000 gallons of gasoline
Average commute 25.3 minutes/day
2 trips per day with 600 employees
= 506 hrs/car per day
Carpool, biking, walking, DART
Our initial plan was to create a page on our portal devoted to alternative
transportation, listing resources and information including a ride-share map to
encourage ride sharing and alternative forms of transportation. We included in our
proposal adding a shower to our office so those who ride or walk can shower after
We also proposed providing a small office fleet for employees so they could get to
and from project meetings if they commute via alternative transportation means.
What we ended up providing is vouchers for those who chose DART and a gym
membership at the YMCA across the street to those who choose to bike to work so
that they could access a shower. We are currently working on the ride share
When the economy gets stronger, we will look at a small fleet that is available for
check out by employees who ride public transportation or walk so that they can
attend meetings out of the office.
Work from home
Dallas commuters spend 33-35%
of their commute in delayed traffic
Working from home is not for everyone, or for every job, but a significant number of
employees have tasks that don’t require their presence in the office. If they don’t
drive to work, they don’t use gas or emit carbon dioxide.
If they do have to come to the office, they are met with traffic, by extending flexible
work hours they can reduce their commute times and carbon impact.
Replace incandescent with fluorescent
Computers and other technology resources use a significant amount of energy in
our offices. Much of the power usage by these devices isn’t happening during
normal working hours. There are simple ways we can reduce the energy usage of
our computers and other equipment when they are not being used. We now
configure computers to hibernate after 10 minutes of inactivity. Hibernation saves
the current windows session to disk and allows the computer to enter a very low
Office spaces are typically over-conditioned and poorly balanced. Employees have
complained about feeling too hot or too cold. We recommended implementing a
minor HVAC reconfiguration by testing and balancing the system, replacing slot
diffusers for central air distribution, and replacing our monitoring and control system
to make the office more efficient and comfortable. To date, we have completed the
test and balance.
We also replaced all incandescent lights with fluorescent. We recommended
additional occupancy sensors be located in conference rooms.
Purchase Renewable Energy
Direct & efficient way to
Despite our reductions in energy use, we will still continue to use significant
amounts of energy in daily business. This energy is typically provided by fossil
fuels, but now energy from renewable sources are available on the national energy
grid, Locally, you can purchase energy from renewable sources, either from TXU or
Green Mountain Energy.
Currently renewable energy accounts for less than 5% of the total energy on the
grid. By requesting renewable energy from your energy provider, the energy
provider has a direct impact on the mix of clean energy going into the grid. There
may be a slight premium for renewable energy, but the premium goes toward
developing new renewable sources that decrease the role of fossil fuels in our
If you can’t purchase renewable energy directly from your provider, you can off-set
your fossil fuel energy use by purchasing RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) They
brokered by a third party company and offset the fossil fuel consumption with
Renewable credits that supplement the development of renewable energy sources.
Internal & External
Differentiate yourself from
Sustainability web portal
Sustainability Consulting group
Corporate sustainability has benefits on it’s own, but policies need people to
Internal marketing includes articles in our monthly newsletter as well as a page on
our internal portal to help employees share resources on how to incorporate
sustainability in their work and their life.
Part of capturing the value of a change is to brand it into your corporate identity.
We now have sustainability consulting services, which I am a part of, we also are
moving toward sharing our good deeds to clients, partners, and employees by
publishing materials focused on our sustainability efforts. These could include
mailers to clients, speaking engagements, with papers, and publications in
magazines. Almost every RFQ or RFP involves some level of sustainability.
increase mpg average to
reduce carbon footprint
(RECs area also available
We can continue to make improvements in the office, but we have some work to do
as it relates to job sites too. Beck has a lot of company pick up trucks, as they are
replaced, if we choose trucks with higher mpg we can reduce our carbon footprint,
not removing all of it entirely, but making an impact.
We are currently working with job trailer manufacturers to improve the performance
of our construction trailers. We plan to take it to the next level and create a design
competition among architecture and construction management schools (especially
those we recruit to) to work together (integrated) to design a green construction
trailer that is highly efficient and has an overall low environmental impact
What is your impact
on the World?
How many planets does it take to support your lifestyle?
FOOD-meat & dairy products, packaged, local
HOME- waste, house type, size, how many live there
MOBILITY – how far you travel by car, bus, plane,
My carbon footprint analysis said that if everyone lived like me, it would take 4.3
planet earth’s to provide enough resources, and to support my lifestyle, it takes 19.1
global acres of the Earth’s productive area (17.9 tons CO2)
What can you do?
What can you do to save money and the environment at home and at work? There
are many ways you can replace everyday items and habits with eco-friendly ones
3 Basic Rules:
If you use, use wisely
When you are done using
What can you do to save money and the environment at home and at work? There
are many ways you can replace everyday items and habits with eco-friendly ones
Reducing lunch waste can significantly impact the environment and your wallet.
At home, pack a lunch using reusable lunch bags and put your food in containers
rather than plastic bags.
At work, encourage vendors that bring you lunch to reduce waste by bringing trays
of food rather than a box lunch.
Box lunches create food waste because many times it contains food you don’t like,
or it’s more than you can eat. Any food left over is most likely thrown away simply
because no one else will take a half-eaten box lunch. A tray or dish of food allows
you to take what you like and how much you can eat, therefore eliminating food
They also create material waste. The box is useless after it serves its purpose to
transport and contain your lunch and is rarely recycled. Roughly 1,000 standard
size lunch boxes can be created with a ton of cardboard. It takes 80 gal of oil, 17
trees, and 7,000 gal of water to create them! That’s the amount of water that an
average person drinks in 28 years!
Each food item inside the box is also individually wrapped adding to the waste
stream. None of this packaging can be recycled because it generally has food on it.
We just discussed how things are over-packaged. Think about how you can buy
things that have less packaging.
When selecting fresh fruit and vegetables, don’t put them in those plastic bags, but
bring cloth ones to the store or farmers market.
Buy food in bulk if you can, so at least you are reducing the amount of packaging
per unit of food.
About 1/3 of what an average American throws out is packaging.
One-time use items
Clean the kitchen and other household chores with cloth dishrags instead of paper
Once paper towels are used, they cannot be recycled and must go to a landfill.
Paper towel manufacturing involves chlorine, a toxic chemical that releases
carcinogenic dioxins and furans. Source: grist.org.
If every family in the US replaced one 70-sheet roll of paper towel with a reusable
alternative, it could save 544,000 trees. Source: NRDC.
51,000 trees per day are needed to replace paper towels that are disposed of each
day. Source: EPA
If you must use paper towels, choose brands that are made from recycled content.
Also, use cloth napkins instead of paper ones
Get Out of Your
If you can walk one time a month to the grocery or another errand, you can begin to
save emissions and money.
Cars and pick up trucks are responsible for about 20% of the carbon dioxide
released in the air.
Every gallon of gasoline you save avoids 22 pounds of CO2 emissions
When you buy your next car, choose one that gets good mileage. If your new car
gets 40 mpg instead of 24, and you drive 10,000 miles per year, you will reduce
your annual CO2 emissions by 3,300 pounds
National Walk to Work day. You are encouraged to walk for all or part of your
commute to work on the first Friday of April. Aim for a minimum 15 minute walk
each way. If you take public transportation, try walking to a further stop before
boarding, or getting off a stop early and walking the rest of the distance to work. If
your commute is too long, make it a Walk to Lunch Day. Invite your co-workers to
join with you for Walk to Work Day, or join you in a Walk to Lunch.
Check out how walkable your home or office is. Log on to walkscore and see what
your rating is.
Start a Garden
Urban gardens are all the rage now. Start small by using planters to grow
vegetables like tomatoes or herbs. More adventurous gardeners can take a portion
of their lawn and plant. Be sure to pick areas that are partially shaded to cut down
on hot, direct sun, use mulch (newspaper, lawn clippings, etc) to hold moisture in so
less watering is needed.
Start a compost pile and add the rich nutrients to your garden.
If you can’t start a garden, buy produce at the local farmers market. It supports the
local economy. Fresh picked vegetables and fruit that come from your region are
so much better than the ones you buy at the store that may have been picked
before they were ripe so that they could be transported for miles and have a longer
shelf life at the store.
save 150 pounds of CO2 a year per bulb
The government will stop production of incandescent bulbs on or before Jan 2014,
Rely on natural sunlight when possible, turn lights off if they are not needed!
At work, when you are not using a conference room, turn the lights off.
Fluorescents are more expensive up front but saves a lot of money in the long run –
lasts 10 times longer
The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5-10 x
more than fluorescent
About 90% of the energy used in lighting a standard incandescent bulb is lost as
Stop Junk Mail
41 pounds sent to every adult each year
44% of this mail goes into landfill unopened
More than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail
Creating & shipping junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 9
About 28 billion gallons of water are wasted to produce and recycle junk each year
You waste about 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail
On average, we receive 16 pieces of junk mail a week, compared to only 1.5
Eliminate junk mail by contacting companies that send you junk mail and ask them
If you get duplicate magazines, stop that too
By reducing your junk mail for 5 years, you’ll conserve 1.7 trees and 700 gallons of
water, prevent global warming emissions, and you’ll gain about 350 hours of free
Other ways to reduce paper consumption is to read magazines and newspapers
Don’t’ take flyers they stuff in your bag at stores
Say “NO” to Paper
don’t print checks
take less receipts
The average office worker uses 1.5 pounds of paper per day. Try going paperless.
A lot of toxic waste is produced making paper pulp and 674 gal fuel/year.
Wasteful, life-cycle of paying by check:
Write the check, put it in an envelope which is also paper, put a (paper) stamp on it,
put it in the mail, it’s routed all over the U.S. by truck and eventually gets sent to a
Buy Smart Appliances
less energy and
Department of Energy and the EPA partnership
Energy Star means that it is significantly more energy efficient than minimum
They can save you money by using less electricity and water than other appliances
Energy Star appliances may cost more up front but it can be made up with savings
on your utility bill
Washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, room air conditioners
Be Smart About
Heating & Cooling
Winter 68˚ daytime, 55˚ night
Clean or replace air filters often
Use fans to circulate air
Lowering your thermostat just 2 degrees during winter saves 6% of heating related
Cleaning dirty air conditioner filter can save 5% of the energy used which could
equate to 175 pounds of CO2 year
Use fans, the blowing air from fans can make it feel 5 degrees cooler, and they use
a lot less energy than air conditioners
If you have a fireplace, close the damper when not using. An open fireplace damper
can let 8% of heat from your furnace escape through the chimney and in the
summer it can let cool air escape, it’s like having a window open.
Eliminate Standby Power
A surprisingly large number of electrical products, TVs, printers, DVD players can
not be switched off completely without being unplugged.
Individually, they don’t draw that much power, but the average American home has
40 products constantly drawing power, together, these can amount to almost 10%
of residential electricity use
Standby power in commercial buildings can be significant as well
Altogether, standby power use is roughly responsible for 1% of global CO2
To reduce standby power at home, use a power strip for clusters of computer and
video devices, this way you can switch everything to 0 with one action. You can
buy programmable power strips too.
Some appliance functions require a small amount of electricity like signals for
telephones, internet, alarm clocks, battery charging.
Take Eco-Friendly Vacations
Don’t travel as far
Find a green hotel
Take the train
Rent a hybrid car
So everyone is ready to take a summer vacation… one of the simplest pieces of
advice most people won’t take even with $4 gal/gasoline, stay close to home, or
even stay home. You’ve all heard of “stay-cations” We live in a major city with a lot
of stuff to do. Museums, amusement parks, sporting events, theater, etc.
If you must travel, stay within 150 miles from home. Your wallet and your planet will
There is a registry of environmentally friendly hotels standing by ready to assist you
in you eco-scape, conserving waste, and committed to reducing their toll on the
Rail travel features some of the lowest carbon emissions per traveler of any form of
transportation. In order of most polluting, it goes: airplanes, cars, trains & coach
This may sound like a give-me, but it’s not, Turn off your thermostat when your not
a home, take pets to the sitter rather than leave them at home and have a neighbor
stop by to check on them. Pack a couple of reusable water bottles so you don’t
have to buy plastic water bottles everywhere you go. Common sense still applies
Do Things Manually
Manual can opener
Reel lawn mower
Sweep sidewalks & patios
Use paint brush
Take the stairs
One of the easiest ways to make a difference is to switch to green energy.
Many times your regular energy provider offers a portion of the energy the provide
from renewable sources such as wind and solar.
In our area, TXU provides a percentage of green power and with Green Mountain
you can purchase 100% green power.
If you can’t buy green power, you can offset by purchasing carbon offsets and
renewable energy credits. This helps invest in cleaner technologies that help
neutralize your contribution to global warming
Americans represent 5% of world’s population but
generate 40% of its waste
Recycling ½ household waste will save 2,400
pounds of CO2 per year
Recycle everything you possibly can.
The average American generates 4 pounds of solid trash per day, 1,460 pounds per
Less than ¼ of what we dispose of is recycled, sending all of it to the landfill.
Think about everything you throw away and be creative about discarding it
Even fireplace ashes can be recycled, they are valuable soil amendments to nourish
that garden in the spring
Decompose rates of common items from ways2gogreen.com:
Apple core – 1 to 2 months
Glass bottles – tens of thousands of years (glass is made from sand and it can
outlast most anything)
Cardboard milk carton – 5 years
Plastic milk carton – 500 years
Cigarette butt – 1 to 5 years
Aluminum Can – 80 to 200 years
Newspaper – 2 to 4 weeks
Diapers – 500 years
Styrofoam – thousands of years (some say it never decomposes)
Soup can – 80 to 100 years
Rubber sole – 50 to 80 years
Buy hand operated items that function without
Look for batteries that have less mercury & heavy
Consider rechargeable batteries (beware, they also
contain heavy metals)
Recycle all batteries at the end of their usefulness
1.5 Billion pounds of electronics per year are put in the landfill
Household batteries contribute many potentially hazardous compounds to the waste
stream including zinc, lead, nickel, alkaline, manganese, cadmium, silver, and
Get Smart About
Average life 2 years
140 million new sold each year
Contain toxic metals
Donate, Exchange, Recycle
Recycle everything you possibly can.
Cell phones account for nearly 65,000 tons of toxic waste each year
More than 500 million unwanted cell phones are either sitting at home waiting to be
thrown away or are already seeping mercury, lead, and other toxic contaminants
into the environment.
National cell phone carriers have instituted a phone recycling take-back plan and
can be used to provide 911-capabilities to victims of domestic violence, senior
centers, seniors living alone, with disabilities, etc
Radio Shack, Best Buy, Office Depot and Staples offer cell phone recycling centers
in their stores
Or send them to a recycling center to keep harmful chemicals out of ground water
Don’t Use Plastic Bags
Plastic bags take 500 years
to decompose in landfill
Take reusable cloth
Bags with you
Use a re-usable cloth bag
There is an ongoing debate about whether paper or plastic bags should be used
They both require a lot of energy to produce and recycle
Only about 700 paper bags can be made from one 15 year old tree
A large grocery store can use that many bags before lunch
Plastic bags start out as either oil or natural gas (non-renewable resources)
Newer plastic bags can photo-degrade but most aren’t exposed to light once they
are buried in a landfill
Change Your Water Habits
80% water used in the summer is for landscape irrigation
The craziest thing we do with water is to put clean, drinking water on our lawns,
worse yet, we water the sidewalks too. If you can, let the lawn go dormant for the
summer and not water at all, if you can’t do that, replace sprinkler heads with new
oscillating sprinkler heads that use less water. Your lawn only needs ½” of water a
week. Broken sprinkler heads can be a real problem. A geyser can waste up to 40
gallons of water a minute
Also, use a broom instead of a hose to clean off the driveway or patio this will save
hundreds of gallons of water each year.
Don’t Buy Water Bottles
Bottled water costs $10 gallon
Tap water costs < 10¢ gallon
$43 billion year spent for quality water
Only 10% plastic bottles are recycled
Millions spent annual to clean up
Fast Company reported that more money is spent on purchasing plastic water
bottles each year than spent on ipods & movie tickets, and they usually end up in
Manufacturing involves (petroleum and chemicals) energy intensive plastic sheets,
molding device, cooling, packaging, shipping, transporting
It takes 500 + years decompose in landfill, they are made up of PET which is made
from petroleum and doesn’t break down easily.
The Federal standards for tap water are higher than those for bottled water, so most
likely your tap water is cleaner than the bottled water you buy
San Francisco and Los Angeles have banned city depts. from buying bottled water
and Ann Arbor Michigan has mandated city events to be bottled water free.
Salt Lake City urges city workers not to buy bottled water.
Maine, Hawaii, California, Oregon have deposit laws that include bottled water. This
encourages recycling and reduces liter along highways, lakes, rivers and in parks.
Take the pledge to not buy bottled water for a year and get your name in a drawing
to win a free stainless steel water bottle
Impact Your Community
Form or join a local citizen’s
Be vocal with local
Check out environmental
voting records of candidates
Work with your employer to implement some of the things you heard today.
Start making connections with people who care about the environment by joining an
organization that is making a difference in your community, or better yet, start one!
Call or write your elected officials and express your concern about energy efficiency
and global warming
Basics of LEED
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design
LEED is a tool to measure how green a building or neighborhood development is.
Core & Shell
LEED Rating Systems
Healthcare, Retail are in pilot
LEED Levels of Certification
Sustainable Water Energy & Materials & Indoor Innovation
Sites Efficiency Atmosphere Resources Environmental & Design
LEED Credit Categories
Man shapes himself through decisions that
shape his environment.
We all have buying power, we can choose products and activities that are kinder to
the environment and will influence the supply chain to make more sustainable
Do something and then tell a friend about the way you have saved money making a
small shift in habit.